Yangon, Myanmar, 20 February 2020 – The Association of Siamese Architects Under the Royal Patronage (ASA) and N.C.C. Exhibition Organizer Co., Ltd. (NEO) held a press conference to launch the 34th edition of Architect Exposition, ASEAN’s Largest Building Technology Exposition. Titled ‘Architect’20, “Refocus Heritage”’, this edition will focus on architectural heritage and its conservation. The exposition is set to take place between 28 April – 3 May 2020, at Challenger Halls 1-3, IMPACT Exhibition Center, Bangkok, Thailand.
According to the annual World Bank East Asia and Pacific Economic Update, the construction sector is one of the main drivers for Myanmar economic growth in 2020, especially in Yangon and Mandalay, which have a strong demand for middle-class condominiums. The infrastructure projects like roads, railways, harbors, and airports are playing an important role in urging major investment opportunities for foreign businesses with an estimated value of US$ 120 billion in 2030.
Myanmar is an unexplored cultural wonder that offers the best authentic experiences for travelers. While apart from Pyu Ancient Cities, UNESCO has added Myanmar’s ancient capital Bagan, a collection of thousands of temples and stupas, as a World Heritage Site in 2019, responding to another cultural heritage building conservation throughout the country.
Dr. Vasu Poshyanandana, the chairperson of the Architect’20 committee said “‘Architect’20 – Refocus Heritage’ aims to raise public awareness and understanding on the concept of ‘heritage’ in several dimensions. Many might suppose that and maintenance of heritage sites is limited to government officers or conservators, and therefore is not relevant to them. However, it is present in everyday life and concerns everyone regardless of the jobs and roles that we hold. The owner of an old house in need of a maintenance, for example, will need information on the right materials and construction to use, as well as the cost incurred. Similarly, the renovation of an old building to create new business opportunity, can generate value added for the community and society, as we can see from the several creative communities that arose from the old quarters throughout the country.”
Thematic Exhibitions by ASA, covering the space of 5,000 sq.m. will allow visitors to enjoy different exhibitions, including:
- Workmanship and Heritage Exhibition where rare traditional materials and technology in construction are displayed. Curious architectural knowledge from the past centuries is also put on exhibition. Stop by the Film Screenings section to enjoy 63 heritage short films from 63 interviewees on the topic of heritage site conservation.
- Heritage Crisis on Online Platform Exhibition deals with the hot topics on social media including the dismantling of heritage sites, uninformed maintenance or renovation of temples etc.
- The annual Architecture Competition for this event will be promoted to the National Architecture Competition, under the theme of ‘Everyday Heritage’.
- Other exhibitions include: 2020 ASA Award Exhibition, where the works of ASA award recipients are displayed; Art and Architectural Conservation Award Exhibition, whose criteria this year has been developed to align with the UNESCO Asia-Pacific Awards, and Heritage in Danger Exhibition, where local architecture students are given space to exhibit their ideas on the recovery and maintenance of existing heritage buildings in the neighboring areas of their schools.
Other activities include ASA Clinic (Mobaan ASA), where professionals are available for advice on design and construction solutions; ASA Place, an activity area for the public, where talks and workshops are available in rotation throughout the 6 days of the event. Demonstrations on the latest technology for conservation including 3-D object scan are also available. The visitors, especially architects, can join ASA Forum, for talks on the newest happenings in the international architecture scene.
“The theme “Refocus Heritage” invites the public to look back on the heritage, as well as sharpen our vision and awareness on the topic. The theme also deals with the flexibility of the coexistence between our society and the heritage sites, in order to preserve the values of the old buildings and the vivacity of their contemporary counterparts. The Expo aims to widen the public’s focus on architecture and lend dimensions to the vision of the visitors of various age and background, encouraging them to re-consider their ownership of the heritage, and their contribution in the conservation and legacy of these valuables heritage of the future” added by Dr. Vasu.